Ancient Books - All Rare Collections Of CODICES from spudme
Maya codices (singular codex) are folding books stemming from the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, written in Maya hieroglyphic script on Mesoamerican bark cloth, made from the inner bark of certain trees, the main being the wild fig tree or amate (Ficus glabrata). Paper, generally known by the Nahuatl word āmatl ['aːmat͡ɬ], was named by the Mayas huun. The folding books are the products of professional scribes working under the patronage of deities such as the Tonsured Maize God and the Howler Monkey Gods. The Maya developed their huun-paper around the 5th century, which is roughly the same time that the codex became predominant over the scroll in the Roman world. However, Maya paper was more durable and a better writing surface than papyrus. The codices have been named for the cities where they eventually settled. The Dresden codex is generally considered the most important of the few that survive. Our knowledge of ancient Maya thought must represent only a tiny fraction of the whole picture, for of the thousands of books in which the full extent of their learning and ritual was recorded, only four have survived to modern times (as though all that posterity knew of ourselves were to be based upon three prayer books and Pilgrim's Progress). Background There were many such books in existence at the time of the Spanish conquest of Yucatán in the 16th century, but they were destroyed in bulk by the Conquistadors and priests soon after. In particular, all those in Yucatán were ordered destroyed by Bishop Diego de Landa in July of 1562. De Landa wrote: "We found a large number of books in these characters and, as they contained nothing in which were not to be seen as superstition and lies of the devil, we burned them all, which they (the Maya) regretted to an amazing degree, and which caused them much affliction." Such codices were primary written records of Maya civilization, together with the many inscriptions on stone monuments and stelae that survived. However, their range of subject matter in all likelihood embraced more topics than those recorded in stone and buildings, and was more like what is found on painted ceramics (the so-called 'ceramic codex'). Alonso de Zorita wrote that in 1540 he saw numerous such books in the Guatemalan highlands that “...recorded their history for more than eight hundred years back, and that were interpreted for me by very ancient Indians.” (Zorita 1963, 271-2). Fr. Bartolomé de las Casas lamented that when found, such books were destroyed: "These books were seen by our clergy, and even I saw part of those that were burned by the monks, apparently because they thought [they] might harm the Indians in matters concerning religion, since at that time they were at the beginning of their conversion." The last codices destroyed were those of Tayasal, Guatemala in 1697, the last city conquered in America. With their destruction, the opportunity for insight into some key areas of Maya life has been greatly diminished. There are only three codices whose authenticity is beyond doubt. These are: The Madrid Codex, also known as the Tro-Cortesianus Codex (112 pages, 6.82 metres (22.4 feet)); The Dresden Codex also known as the Codex Dresdensis (74 pages, 3.56 metres (11.7 feet)); The Paris Codex, also known as the Peresianus Codex (22 pages, 1.45 metres (4.8 feet)). More info on codices visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_codices
Ancient pictorial writings.
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